Pindar Vineyards Review
Address: 37645 Main Rd Peconic,New York 11958.
Phone Number: 631-734-6200
Tasting Hours: 11:00-5:30
Region: Long Island AVA, North Fork of Long Island AVA, New York
Reviewer: Joanne Dunne
Review Date: 5/1/2012
Reviewer: Joanne Dunne
The Place:  Pindar Vineyards is the largest vineyard on the Island, and it shows. What started out in 1979 as 30 acres has turned into over 550 acres of wine making. Still run by the same family who started it, The Damianos family, Pindar has a large tasting room, in keeping with its large acreage. Pindar Vineyards are well-known in the area, and in many ways, it could almost be considered the main tourist destination for vineyards in the area, in the same manner that the Magic Kingdom is the must-see when you visit Disney.
The same wood architecture is seen as other wineries in the area, but the tasting bars (there are 2) are huge rectangular fixtures, giving lots of room for the masses of people that the owners know will visit Pindar. Along one entire wall is a virtual cafeteria line of all the wines for sale. It is very easy to stop in and purchase a quick bottle or two (prices listed clearly for the public) without ever stepping near one of the wine tasting bars. Pindar SELLS wine, lots of it.
Pindar, like Bedell Cellars, has taken to promoting more sustainable practices, most notably a 150 foot tall wind turbine to power about 80% of its facility. Pindars practices are more along the lines of recycling and saving energy, whereas Bedells sustainable practices are obvious in the cultivation of the soils.
The Experience:  Pindar is always a pleasant place to walk into; one can walk in and meander in their entry corridor where they have old cider presses, a glass case of vintage corkscrews, and brochures. Upon entering, the two large tasting bars await you. On this sunny Friday afternoon, there was only one tasting bar in use, with one pourer for the whole bar. That aspect changes over the weekends both bars are in full swing. There were several people tasting, mostly couples, but even with one pourer, the wait was not long. Flight sheets provide basic information about what is available.
At Pindar, all tastings are paid in advance. This is a practice reflective of the fact that they do get so busy. Our pourer was very knowledgeable, and really at Pindar, the pourers are there to pour, answer questions, and well, just be there. With plenty of customers to serve, they definitely dont linger in conversation with you. If there were two pourers during our visit, I still think they would not linger for chat. The price for a tasting of up to five wines is $8. You can choose from a selection of sixteen wines, ranging from Chardonnays to dessert wines. The restrooms are actually located outside in a nearby, separate building between the tasting room and vineyard. Overall, the experience was light-hearted and casual.
The Wines:  Pindar wines are well-known in the area, and there is a taste for every palate. All are reasonably prices. Three white wines are available, with a 2010 Chardonnay Special Reserve coming from a special, four acre site ($18.99). Pindar has a Syrah – not frequently seen at Long Island wineries – but didn’t have a Gewurztraminer (one of my new favorite varieties). They also offer proprietary blends at $9.99. Their most expensive wine is their Gold Medal awarded 2006 Cabernet Port Dessert Wine at $28.99.